Apex Legends Update Brings New Weapon Balances, Character Changes, and More

EA and Respawn have detailed their latest patch for their overnight Battle Royale hit, Apex Legends. The new update comes with a slew of new character changes, weapon balances, and much more.

The detailed update post gives players a good look at all the changes that will be coming to the game. We get to see that some weapon balancing will be happening as well as the aforementioned character changes. There are hundreds of Battle Royale titles out there since the dawn of Fortnite, but it seems that EA and Respawn have something special on their hands when it comes to Apex Legends.

If you’re a fan of the game, you probably would want to check out the new set of updates and changes made to Apex Legends down below:

apex legends

Weapon Balance

Overall, we feel that the current weapons present solid options for a variety of gameplay styles.  We’ve found that the Skullpiercer Wingman has been on the stronger end, but it’s designed to be a weapon with a higher skill ceiling.  Our adjustments are attempting to move it more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle.  We’ve also adjusted the rate of fire of the Peacekeeper with Shotgun Bolt attachment, so players will have a larger window of vulnerability if they miss their shot.  Additionally, the scarcity of energy ammo and lower number of energy weapons overall has made those weapons difficult to main, so we’ve increased energy weapon and ammo availability.

Weapon Adjustments going live today on all platforms

  • Wingman
    • Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6
    • Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
    • Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire spread decays (shrinks back down)
  • Peacekeeper
    • Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper only
      • Level 1 mitigation 10% -> 7.5%
      • Level 2 mitigation 20% -> 13%
      • Level 3 mitigation 25% -> 16%
    • Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers
    • Increased availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers

Why no P2020 or Mozambique buffs?

  • We love y’all’s ‘Bique memes, so we’re hesitant to lose that 😛
  • In all seriousness, our goal is to have a power curve of weapons. “Power curve” just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer. Some weapons are intentionally less powerful until fully purp’d with hopups and attachments, while other weapons on the bottom of the power curve are your early game, better-than-melee, but-gotta-upgrade-out-of-ASAP weapons. We’ve seen some good feedback from players about how to make these pistols more exciting without losing out on the goal above that we’re listening to. We’ll be continuing to watch player data and feedback and trying things out internally but for now, they’ll remain the same.

ADDITIONAL PATCH NOTES

  • Fixed some script errors that we identified were occasionally causing disconnects during matches.
    • Caustic occasionally causing disconnects while throwing is Ultimate.
    • Pathfinder occasionally causing disconnects when activating a Survey Beacon.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when removing an attachment.
    • Gibraltar occasionally causing disconnects when pulling up his Gun Shield.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when entering Spectate Mode.

Addressing Character Balance and Addressing Hitbox Feedback

TL;DR  Our goal is to be able to have characters with different rig sizes, hitboxes and ability kits, and still have each character be roughly equal in power level, win rate and viability of pick.

For character balance, we look at a combination of things: pick rate, win rate, and character v. character matchup win rate among other metrics, and, of course, player feedback.  The results between the 5 small and medium rig characters have been positive – they are all in a safe band of relatively equal power.  Our large rig characters, however, are underpowered and their natural size appears to be a large contributor.  We’re planning on adjusting the size of the large character hitboxes to better fit the model.  If these changes are insufficient to bring these characters in line, we’re also considering a range of other changes such as natural damage reduction as well as individual kit power tweaks.  Because many of these changes are significant, we want to make sure they are heavily tested before they go live, in the event they are necessary.  Below is a quick overview on the roadmap of how we’re thinking about bringing large characters back in line.

Overall, we want to try to increase the power level of the large rig characters, before we consider large nerfs to everyone else.  While we’ve made small adjustments, we’re hopeful that increasing the power of large rigs is healthier than nerfing everyone else.

Character Adjustments Coming in Season 1

Major balance changes:

  • Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar
    • We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model
    • Since these adjustments have a MAJOR impact on the game, we want to make sure there aren’t any major bugs, so we didn’t want to rush them out
    • If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, we’ll consider additional adjustments during Season 1

Minor balance changes:

  • Caustic
    • Traps – Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
    • Traps – Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
    • Traps – Removed a 1 second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
  • Pathfinder
    • Insider Knowledge – Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
  • Lifeline
    • Care Package – Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
  • Wraith
    • Into The Void – Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
  • Bangalore
    • Double Time – Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%

We appreciate all the feedback and please keep it coming! As you are playing these changes let us know how they feel,  we’ll be around for a while for questions 🙂


Apex Legends is now available to play for free on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Have you been enjoying the new battle royale title? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: EA